Government shrugs off foreign real estate fallout

Construction industry disruption expected as new tax threatens deals, says Finance Minister Mike de Jong

Townhouses under construction in Metro Vancouver.

Premier Christy Clark and her ministers aren’t concerned about a backlash or downturn in B.C.’s hot urban real estate market from their sudden decision to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Wednesday the development industry was “taken aback and a bit grumpy” after Premier Christy Clark announced Monday that the new tax takes effect Aug. 2.

Clark confirmed Wednesday that there would be no exemptions to the new tax for real estate sales that were signed but not registered before the deadline. That includes pre-sold condos that were purchased before construction, if they are going to buyers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said tax changes are generally done on short notice, and the government expected there would be some cancelled sales as a result. But the purpose of the tax was to discourage foreign sales and replace them with sales to B.C. residents, he said.

“Part of it relates to the fact that properties going on the market are being scooped up so quickly.” de Jong said. “This disruption, this change is taking place in a market where there is incredibly strong domestic demand.”

The government intends to put the revenue from the foreign buyer tax into a housing affordability fund, but Coleman said there will be no return to government directly building social housing projects.

New initiatives will be announced in September, with incentives for builders to create more rental housing. The province already provides rent subsidies to 20,000 families to keep them in market housing, and that approach has better results than concentrating low-income people in government housing, Coleman said.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

VIDEO: ‘Hands, washing hands’: Surrey teachers sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with COVID-19 lesson

Staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary are featured in video posted to Youtube on Friday

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Most Read